University Research Council

March 18, 2008

Meeting Summary

U.S. Patent Law

Jessica Lindsay-Green and Chiara Orsini, from the Office of Technology Management, discussed recent and proposed changes to federal patent law.  The plethora of changes in patent rules, patent reform legislation and recent Supreme Court activity represent a shift in the patent landscape that will make patents more difficult and more costly to obtain, easier to invalidate, and less costly to infringe, thus challenging the ability to procure and maintain patent protection to support the development of life sciences innovations. This impact will be felt most significantly where resources for intellectual property protection and commercialization are limited, such as at universities. Universities will have to reconsider their established processes for negotiating licenses and potentially spend additional time and effort renegotiating existing licenses.

Central Research Development Fund

Thirty-nine faculty members submitted proposals to the Central Research Development Fund. Ten proposals were from health science disciplines, fifteen proposals were from engineering and science disciplines, and fourteen proposals were from humanities and social science disciplines.

Federal Agencies Trip

This year’s federal agencies trip took place on March 16 and 17.  Faculty members from engineering and the science departments traveled to Washington, D.C., to be briefed on federal funding opportunities.  Thirty individuals participated in the trip.


Council members also discussed: